The Belfast Film Festival is now in it's tenth year, and to celebrate this and 100 years of cinema in Belfast, they commisioned 10 designers and artists to produce a film poster redesign of famous (and not so famous) films through the ages. I was one of those asked, and ended up with the task of interpreting the 1970 Roger Corman funded B-movie "classic", The Dunwich Horror. First task was to watch the movie, which it must be said, is not particularly scary. Based loosely on the H.P Lovecraft story of the same name, what it lacks in unnameable horrors it makes up for with a gigantic serving of camp weirdness. There's plenty of reviews and info at IMDB (I've linked this below) but a quick glance at the trailer should give you an idea about what to expect :
I would actually argue that the film is marginally better than the trailer suggests.
Highlights include :
- Dean Stockwell (of Lynch films and Quantum Leap) in exceptionally bizarre mode, complete with afro and moustache shouting "Yog Sothoth"
- A truly odd animated title sequence which looks as if the band Sunn O))) had their own saturday morning cartoon show
- Dark robed albino cultist women
- Filmed in hideously garish C O L O R
Posters at the time largely consisted of an original illustration that bore no resemblance to anything you ever witness in the movie, and I quickly decided that I'd base the design on the main Stockwell character and the "Thunderbird" emblem that frequently appears in the movie. This symbol is arguably one of the most distinct elements in the movie and is probably intended as a reference to the Whip Poor Wills legend mentioned in the original text ("The sound of whipoorwills is the song of the Death in Dunwich!" was one of the original taglines). I exchanged the original tagline for some of Stockwell's dialogue in the movie, and re-drew the symbol as the basis for the poster, combined with some manipulated screencaps from the movie. I also used Microgramma as main header type for this, which I hope helps give it an authentic late 60's / early 70's feel.
The '10 for 10' exhibition opens at The John Hewitt Bar, Belfast on Monday 19th April at 7pm.
Some of the other films included are ‘A Lad from Old Ireland’ (1910). The Blue Angel (1930). Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (1940). La Dolce Vita (1960).
Belfast Film Festival
The Dunwich Horror @ IMDB